California Conservatives Are Still Idiots

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


California conservatives are idiots. Check this out:

The state’s powerful agriculture industry and its political allies are gathering signatures for a November ballot initiative that would grab bond money earmarked for California’s bullet train and use it instead for new water projects.

You all know how I feel about the LA-San Francisco bullet train. I don’t know how I feel about a bunch of new water projects, but there’s a decent chance I’d vote for an initiative like this just to kill the train boondoggle once and for all. Except for this:

In addition, the measure would make substantial changes to state water law via a constitutional amendment, setting domestic water use and irrigation as the first- and second- highest priorities — ahead of environmental conservation.

….Jim Earp, a member of the California Transportation Commission who led the rail bonds campaign, said the water measure could have a difficult time because its backers were greedy. “They have basically a deeply flawed measure,” Earp said. “They couldn’t resist overreaching. They couldn’t resist the temptation to rewrite water laws to benefit corporate farmers who are going to underwrite the campaign.”

The eminent domain folks made the same mistake a few years ago, and they made it twice. Instead of trying to pass a simple measure that would have barred eminent domain for private projects—which I would have voted for—they couldn’t resist larding up their measures with a bunch of wish-list provisions from libertarians and property developers. So they lost.

I predict the same thing here. The bullet train isn’t popular these days and water is a big concern. That’s a handy confluence of events for the ag industry. But they couldn’t stay content with just raiding a bit of money for water projects. They’re so furious about their water supply being restricted by a bunch of starry-eyed greens that they had to toss in a provision directly targeted at environmental concerns. But like it or not, Californians care about the environment, and they’re not likely to approve this nonsense. So the initiative will go down. Idiots.

THE END...

of our fiscal year is Thursday, June 30, and we have a much larger fundraising gap than we can easily manage with only days left to go.

Right now is no time to come up short: If you value the hard-hitting, democracy-protecting, justice-advancing journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us keep charging as hard as we possibly can with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

THE END...

of our fiscal year is Thursday, June 30, and we have a much larger fundraising gap than we can easily manage with only days left to go.

Right now is no time to come up short: If you value the hard-hitting, democracy-protecting, justice-advancing journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us keep charging as hard as we possibly can with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate